5 star David Thielen Photographic Artistry - Southern Alberta Photographer - Family, Wedding, Nature, Maternity, Newborn, New Born, _D729655

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

If you see a small yellow butterfly flitting from flower to flower, odds are at this time of year it is a Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. According to Naturalist John Acorn on a CBC story there are more Clouded Sulphurs than usual and they are on their annual migration. The butterfly can become a nuisance pest because it likes to feed on crops like alfalfa. However, they also can be beneficial  because they also have an affinity for many plants that are considered weeds.

According to Wikipedia, because the Clouded Sulphurs does not sequester toxins or other noxious compounds from their food plants, they are a favorite food of many insectivores.

I photographed this little beauty with what most would not consider a macro lens, a 150-600 Sigma out at 600 mm. I was on a little photography road trip west of Milk River with my son Preston. 

Newborn baby

They change so fast. You think you will remember, but you don’t

Newborn baby

George Alexander Nugget Thielen-Berry

May 24, 2018

at least not without photographs to bring back the memories of those changes.

At 3 months Nugget is able to hold his head up by himself. No photoshop needed.

At 6 months he able to sit by himself, and at 9 months he can stand as long as he has something to support himself, and at 12 months taking those first tottering steps.

It’s about time

Smiling Barn

This barn sits right along Highway Two between Lethbridge and Calgary, I have driven past it for more years than I care to remember and every time I say I should stop and take a photo. I do remember when the paint was still fresh. Unfortunately, it seems every time I am passing, I am in a hurry to get somewhere, or I haven’t had my camera with me, or the traffic is too heavy, or for whatever reason I have never stopped.

Today, I made a point in stopping. The barn has been there for as long as I can remember, and that is quite a few years. The window placement is fairly common on all barns, although, the smaller one in the center is typically much larger and opens to provide access to the upper level of the barn for storing hay. The bottom braces are typical for holding the walls together of wooden granaries by either long rods that reach to the other side, or thick cable. When you are trying to shovel grain out of those old granaries you are constantly dodging the rods. So I imagine that this isn’t the purpose for these braces.

Someday, I will actually stop and talk to the owner to see if this was actually done on purpose to make it look like a smiling face, or it was all practical that just happened to work. It would make an interesting story to tell.

Somewhere under the rainbow

One thing about summer thunderstorms on the prairies is that they are often followed by a rainbow.

Most of the time the rainbow, while visible, is usually fairly faint. Not this time. I don’t ever remember seeing a rainbow that was as intense in color as this one.

Of course the kids reminded me of the Irish legend about  Leprechauns burying their gold at the end of the rainbow, and thought it would be a good idea to head over to find the gold. They were quite disappointed when I told them that even if there was a pot of gold, we would never find it because as you move, the end of the rainbow moves.

The storm had been in Lethbridge and the rainbow appeared as we traveled down Highway 4. I which I could say that I found the perfect location and waited for all the parts to come together, but the sun breaking through the clouds to highlight the canola field and the old granaries were just a well time coincidence.

Prairie Roads

Looking out across the miles of farmland you can see where the saying “You can watch your dog run away for three days” comes from.  

Located North of Warner, and joining with Highway 4, this prairie road holds a special place in my heart. I remember it first as a Alberta Wheat Pool calendar that was in the Grade 3/4 classroom at the Masinasin School.

If you are old enough you will remember those calendars, a big (well by a nine-year-old’s perspective anyway) piece of cardboard, with a painting of some Alberta scene and the months on a pad of paper stapled at the bottom center of the calendar.

I don’t know why it made such an impression at the time. I can still see it clearly nearly 60 years later. It hung on the wall just to the right of a stand that held books and magazines. The stand was in the corner of the room where Louise Miller taught somewhere around 20 of the local farm kids Grade 3 and Grade 4. It might have been when she pointed out that the scene was local.

If I remember correctly, at the time there were somewhere between 80-100 students between Grade 1 and Grade 8 that attended Masinasin. All were farm kids that lived east of Verdigris Coulee. But I digress.

Missing from this photo is the farmstead that used to be located down at that first intersection. It wasn’t until much later I found out that old homestead that no longer exists belonged to my Great-Grandmother, and that my Mom spent her summers playing in that farm yard. She would let off the Greyhound where the road intersected with the highway and then walk down to the farm.

My next memory is from one day when we were making one of our few trips to Lethbridge, that Dad turned off the highway and onto this road to show us where Great-Grandma used to live. The farm had long been abandoned and Grandma, as we knew her, had moved to Lethbridge to live. At the time I didn’t make the connection between the road and the calendar.

It actually wasn’t until just a couple of years ago, when I was taking Mom to one of her many doctor’s appointments in Lethbridge that she pointed out the intersection and said that was were Grandma Frandsen’s farm had been located and all the pieces fell together in my memory.

My plan is to make a series of photos that depict the road in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  This photo was done on June 24, (my Dad’s birthday) so it’s officially the summer photo. It’s been raining on a regular basis all spring so everything is still nice and green.

The first annex comes down as the first step of demolishing and removing this Milk River elevator

It started with getting inside the annex with a chain saw and cutting the annex off from top to bottom through each of the interior bins. Then an excavator starts to cut through the end. Similar to how a lumberjack will cut a wedge on the side of the tree that they want to fall.

They leave the outside walls while they cut out the second set of bins from the center, and then its time to start taking out the outside walls, letting gravity do its thing. You can see the cut made by the chainsaw is starting to slowly widen.


Milk River Elevator Demolition

The final seconds of the Milk River elevator.

evators in Milk River will not be there this fall.